Courtesy TopTenRealEstateDeals.com
Photo credit Douglas Elliman
Source www.elliman.com

Many of America’s Olympic stars of today can thank sportswoman and socialite Eleonora Randolph Sears – who in the early 20th century made women’s sports in the US both acceptable and popular.

When she died at the age of 86 in 1968, Boston Globe sportswriter Victor Jones wrote that Sears was “probably the most versatile performer that sports has ever produced – not just the most versatile female performer but the most versatile – period.”

She was a four time national tennis champion, the first women’s squash champion, an accomplished equestrian and the first female to ride a horse in a major polo match.

Her home for 40 years until her death was a glamorous Gilded Age mansion with 400 feet of Massachusetts Atlantic oceanfront and a private beach. Named ‘Rock Edge’ due to its location above the rocky shore, this house has since undergone a meticulous 21st century update and is now for sale at US$ 22 million.

As a high-powered socialite, her friends and frequent visitors included the Prince of Wales, Harold Vanderbilt, Cole Porter and Judy Garland. Her oceanfront mansion was the perfect venue for everything from intimate dinners to fundraisers.

A fearless pioneer of her day, Eleonora was as comfortable at a society event as she was when she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame and the United States Squash Hall of Fame.

With her massive fortune, Sears felt free to do whatever she wanted including wearing slacks, smoking cigarettes and riding horses astride rather than sidesaddle in an age when the acceptable activity of society women was not to stray too far away from the closest chaise longue.

Built on Massachusetts’ Gold Coast in 1904, the 28,000 square foot mansion contains 11 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, and is sited on three oceanfront acres with a private beach and carriage house. All the rooms boast ocean views with most of them having fireplaces retaining their original mantels.

Huge slabs of white marble have been used in the spacious kitchen and bathroom updates. Large windows and French doors open onto terraces that fill the home with sunlight, and create an elegant beach vibe.

FOOTNOTE Eleonora Sears’ home is for sale for US$ 22 million and the listing agent is George Sarkis of The Sarkis Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Boston, Massachusetts.

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